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Can I be charged with a Felony for Disturbing the Peace?

Can I be charged with a Felony for Disturbing the Peace?

In the state of California, disturbing the peace can occur only under three circumstances: 

  • In the event of a public fight.
  • If a person creates loud or unreasonable noise that disturbs another person.
  • Whenever a person uses harsh language and offensive words hoping to provoke violence.

That’s why under the California penal code, disturbing the peace is dealt with in three different sections - one that governs fighting, one that deals with noise, and another that addresses offensive words in public. 

Under the California Penal Code 415, disturbing the peace can be charged as a misdemeanor, and if you get convicted, you can receive both imprisonment and a fine, or either just one of the two. Usually, the punishment is up to ninety days in jail and a $400 fine. With that said, in some instances, the charge for disturbing the peace can be reduced to an infraction. 

Can I Get a Felony Charge for Disturbing the Peace? 

Disturbing the Peace can be defined as a “wobbler” crime, meaning that it can be either a misdemeanor or a felony, and what it’s punished as depends entirely on the prosecutor. 

Along with that, judges can also decide to punish a wobbler charged as a misdemeanor. However, even if you get convicted with a wobbler, you can file a petition to reduce it to a misdemeanor. 

If you want your felony charge to be reduced to a misdemeanor, there are four stages at which you can request it:

  • After the defendant has served his mandatory probation, he can file a petition to reduce a felony conviction to a misdemeanor.
  • At the time of sentencing.
  • During the felony preliminary hearing.
  • At the time when the prosecutor is charging the offense. 

However, you have to know that, unlike a wobbler charge, a felony cannot be reduced to a misdemeanor at a later stage. 

With that said, a disturbance of the peace rarely gets charged as a felony. As per CPC, it’s considered to be a “wobblette” criminal offense, meaning that it can be charged either as a misdemeanor or infraction by a prosecutor. That means that the maximum penalties you can get are: 

  • Up to 90 days in county jail.
  • A fine of not more than $400 
  • You have to both pay a fine and spend time in prison.

If you get charged under CPC 415 for disturbing the peace and you feel you have been falsely accused or wrongly charged, make sure to get in touch with a lawyer in your area immediately. 

H Law Group Online

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